Montreal·Cinq à six

The Word Bookstore turns 40

The McGill ghetto used bookstore is a fixture in Montreal and an institution for book lovers. Founder Adrian King-Edwards tells the story of the humble beginnings of the store on Cinq à six.

The McGill Ghetto used bookstore has become an institution for Montreal book lovers

The Word is situated on Milton Street a few blocks from McGill University. (The Word)

One of the constants in the life of McGill students and book lovers in the city for the past 40 years has been the Word Bookstore.

On Sunday, this oasis of used and rare books celebrates its anniversary with a celebration. The party will be held from 2-5 p.m. at 469 Milton Street.  

For the past 40 years, Adrian King-Edwards has been at the desk at The Word Bookstore with a selection of best-loved books. He talks to Jeanette Kelly about the challenges and pleasures of the business. 12:29

The Word Bookstore was founded by Adrian King-Edwards and Lucille Friesen in 1975, but it was far from their first foray into the book business.

Adrian King-Edwards is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his bookstore on Sunday afternoon. (Frank Opolko/CBC)
The couple, who first met at McGill, had spent the previous summer hawking paperbacks out of their VW van in northern British Columbia.

After returning to Montreal, they taped a photo of George Bernard Shaw to their front window and set up an underground bookstore in their Milton Street apartment.

King-Edwards shared the story of his modest beginnings in the book business in an interview with Jeanette Kelly. 

Share your memories of the Word in the comments below.


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